Saturday, January 22, 2011

Oscar Predictions: Best Foreign Film

Last year’s nominees: Ajami, The Milk of Sorrow, The Secret in their Eyes, A Prophet, The White Ribbon

This year’s locks: Biutiful (Mexico)

Very likely: In a Better World (Denmark), Incendies (Canada)

Possible: Outside the Law (Algeria), Dogtooth (Greece), Live Above All (South Africa), Even the Rain (Spain), Confessions (Japan), Simple Simon (Sweden)

Ineligible semi-finalists: Of Gods and Men (France), The Edge (Russia), When We Leave (Germany)

The rundown: Earlier this week, the field in this category was narrowed to merely nine contenders, leaving some notable films, listed above, off the list. I’m particularly surprised by the omission of the terrific “Of Gods and Men,” and at this point I’ve only seen what’s likely the one surely thing, the Javier Bardem starrer “Biutiful.” Director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu has had all three of his previous feature films nominated in some category or another, and his last non-English effort (“Amores Perros”) ended up recognized here. Golden Globe winner “In a Better World” gets a boost as the frontrunner to challenge it, and then we have the other seven contenders, all vying for three other slots. I can’t offer much more analysis since I haven’t had the opportunity to see any of these. “Dogtooth” is on DVD on Tuesday, and a good portion of the rest open in 2011. Has anyone seen any of the other contenders?

Forecasted winner: “Biutiful,” though “In a Better World” may give it a run for its money.

1 comment:

mollusquemorn said...

I'm just glad that Biutiful made the cut. I never know which foreign films are going to make it because of the difference in talent and perspectives all over the world.
One film last year that I feel really should have received a nomination was South Africa's submission White Wedding. It's a romantic comedy, but it has a lot more than meets the eye, and I'm not convinced that the Academy got the underlying social issues that it addresses, through the cutesy, overarching "get me to the church on time" theme. Just released and definitely worth it, especially if you're up to date on South Africa's political atmosphere.